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30% of South African employees see their productivity increase as a result of working from home

Published on 2021/01/26 by Sonia Navarrete

Productivity while working remotely

Remote working was not all that common before COVID-19, only 26% of South Africans had the freedom to work from home before the crisis. Since March last year, almost all businesses in South Africa turned to technologies like digital communication and collaboration to enable employees to work remotely, without stepping out of their homes to adhere to Government regulations and assist in curbing the spread of the COVID-19.

Productivity has increased as a result of working from home

According to the GetApp study on productivity in the workplace, 30% of South African employees said their productivity has increased as a result of working from home, whilst 25% of employees said that they perform better with a mix of in-office and remote working.

The study also revealed that 37% of employees prefer to work at home on full-time basis, whilst 30% of employees prefer going to the office at least 2-3 times a week. Businesses in South Africa are still trying to navigate through this new working order and bring to life their company culture, ethics; and allow for flexibility, transparency, and collaboration; which are necessities for effective remote working. Businesses need to adapt its culture in this emerging hybrid model that combines remote work with a traditional office hub.

employees want hybrid model of work

Greater adoption of new cloud-based technologies and collaboration tools are a major driver

On a global scale, South Africa currently ranks 78th on the Digital Readiness Index that was published by Cisco in early 2020. This statistic further highlights that even with South Africa’s low ranking, multiple businesses still see themselves as already digitally transformed. This reflects a disparity between the companies’ transformation journey versus the country’s transformation journey and infrastructure capabilities. Therefore, South Africa’s digital transformation is mainly lead by its business sector.

G reater adoption of  new cloud – based  technolog ies   is  the major driver of this trend .  The productivity in the workplace survey   shows  that  South African  employees   consider  online meeting softwaredocument sharing tools and  collaboration software  as the   three most critical tools for their productivity.   

critical technology for productivity remote

Working remotely can seem like a dream come true for many employees— but it can present its own set of challenges

Many employees are trying to oversee day to day family needs whilst balancing their children’s education at home because many schools are closed or operating virtually. These employees need flexibility and support to stay engaged and productive while also dealing with the larger social disruption that has forced many of them; particularly employees dealing with loss and COVID-19 care.

Amongst the many challenges like dealing with depression, loneliness, time management problems and adapting to constant digital miscommunication, employees have expressed frustration with technology challenges like connectivity, cost of data, adequate equipment – 78% of employees expressed challenges with internet and speed.

connectivity main challenges to stay productive at home

On the positive side, remote working is effective on multiple levels. It ensures that employees are safe and productive; while it also transforms businesses by equipping them with resilient and adaptive ways to engage with their stakeholders and deliver economic value.

Therefore, businesses need to ensure that employees have the hardware and software they need to do their job and invest in the tools and training needed to support hybrid working that will benefit both businesses and employee’s productivity.

Looking for online collaboration or video meeting software? Check our catalogue.

Productivity and remote workplace study: GetApp Survey methodology 

Data for this study was collected in November 2020 from an online survey of 450 respondents that live in South Africa. 

To participate in the survey, respondents had to be: 

  • Employed full-time or part-time, or self-employed
  • Working for a company with at least two people
  • Working remotely sometimes or all the time since COVID-19.

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About the author

Sonia is a Senior Content Analyst, helping SMEs choose the best software. She published in Raconteur, Computer Weekly and IT Pro. Journalist and PR. Nature, bike and dog lover.

Sonia is a Senior Content Analyst, helping SMEs choose the best software. She published in Raconteur, Computer Weekly and IT Pro. Journalist and PR. Nature, bike and dog lover.